Green-lipped mussel

Perna canaliculus

Kuku, Kutai, Green shell mussel, Mussel

1. What is it?

Green-lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus) are large filter feeding mussels with dark brown/green shells and green lips around the edges. Currently there is insufficient data available to determine the status of the stock.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Green-lipped mussels are farmed using a longline rope system on which the mussels grow. These ropes are suspended in the water column by means of a floating rope on the surface of the water. The ropes are seeded with mussel spat collected on spat collection ropes which hang beneath the growing ropes or from spat harvested from nearby beaches where it attaches to drifting seaweed and washes ashore Mussels are filter feeders and feed off nutrients in the water column; they therefore do not require any additional feed. By removing these particles from the water column, mussels improve the water quality by reducing concentrations of organic matter and nutrients. However, the waste discharged accumulates on the sea floor and may have a localized negative impact. There have been occasional reports of entanglement of other marine life but nothing of significant concern.

3.Where is it from?

Green-lipped mussels are farmed along the coast of New Zealand and imported to South Africa. Management is considered to be effective as farms are required to be in the least ecologically sensitive areas. Farms sometimes provide nesting and resting spots for some species of birds. These mussels are also sold under the name Green Shell mussel.


Fishing Type: Aquaculture (ropes)

Origin: New Zealand

Ropes are suspended in the water of sheltered bays and seeded with young mussels or oysters. They grow on the ropes and feed on particles in the water. As they are filter feeders, mussels and oysters actually enhance water quality by reducing the amount of organic matter and nutrients. Damage to the environment is generally limited to the immediate area (waste that settles on the seafloor).